SEO vs. Google Ads

SEO vs. Google Ads

When marketing your business online, being found in search engine searches are a big deal. How exactly do you ensure a spot on Google’s page? By using relevant and detailed words that relate to your business.You’ve heard all about SEO, Google Ads, and Adwords…but do you truly understand what they mean? First, let’s talk about SEO, or for better understanding, search engine optimization. SEO is all about getting better ranking in the search engine results pages on platforms such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. You must make sure that your website’s content is search engine friendly, meaning that is can be easily read by search engines and easy to use by visitors. Now, what exactly are Google Adwords? Google Adwords, now known as Google Ads, is Google’s advertising platform. Businesses use this platform to help position their ads in Google’s search engine result pages; Google Products, such as Youtube and Gmail; and thousands of websites that participate in the Adwords program as publishers, Google Adsense. When you choose to use Google Ads, you’re able to choose whether you would like to pay when someone clicks on your ad (Cost Per Click or CPC) or when people see your add (Cost per Thousands of Impressions or CPM). 

Now that you have a good idea of what is SEO and Google Ads/Adwords, let’s take a deeper look into how they compare.

  • Adwords is strictly for Google sites and websites that use Google Adsense, while SEO practices are applicable for all search engines.
  • Adwords traffic is paid, while SEO traffic is organic and free. 
  • Adwords ads can appear on both the top and bottom of Google Search Results, but with SEO, you have to work harder to get a top position in the organic search results.
  • Adwords is almost immediate since you can create specific advertising campaigns instantly, while with SEO, you need much more time to get traffic and good ranking, especially with a new website.
  • Adwords makes it easier to calculate ROI based off as spending and revenue, while SEO has a lot more factors that play a role in figuring out ROI. 
  • Adwords campaign traffic stops when you stop the campaign, but once you begin getting organic traffic through SEO, it will continue for the long run.
  • Adwords lets you target many keywords at the same time, but SEO helps you focus on a few keywords to achieve the best results.
  • Adwords allows you to advertise on multiple platforms from Google, like other Google websites and Google Adsense, but your SEO results are only for search results pages.


Overall, the biggest advantage Adwords has over SEO, is the ability to generate results faster. The downside of this, of course, is that you will have to pay for each visit you get from Adwords, but if the campaign becomes profitable, you can justify the investment. Adwords is more ideal for startups and new companies that want to get targeted traffic quickly. While Adwords seems like a great way to bump up your traffic, it should be used in a wise and careful manner. It is very easy to spend a ton of money on Adwords if you lack the proper monitoring and control tools, leading to losses rather than profits. While Adwords may seem like a no-brainer for a company who has some money to spend, don’t forget about the power of SEO. You need SEO for long term and sustainable online success.

Adwords and SEO are both two powerful tools available in your digital marketing arsenal. Still feel lost thinking about which direction to take your business? Good news! Here at TechKnow Solutions, we are experts in all things online marketing. We’ve got your back! Give us a call today at 618-526-1600 and let’s work on ramping up your traffic online.